Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
What We Love
- All rooms have views of Sydney Harbor; Grand Harbor Rooms overlook both the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge
- The Chi spa, which uses local ingredients including bush honey, macadamia nuts, eucalyptus and lemon myrtle
- The rooms’ deep soaking tubs—just one of the Shangri-La brand’s signature amenities
- Cocktails at the trendy Blu Bar 36 on the top floor
What To Know
- Expect business travelers
- Free WiFi
- The airport is about six miles away; the hotel can arrange transfers for a fee
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
As far as real estate goes, it doesn’t get much more impressive than Sydney’s sky-high Shangri-La hotel, one of the city’s most unabashedly luxurious stays, smack in the heart of the historic Rocks district. The 36-floor tower soars over its neighbors and, consequently, delivers sweeping views of the city and harbor. Despite a whopping 563 rooms (all spacious and decorated in soothing neutrals), the hotel’s service is always attentive yet inconspicuous. The dining and entertainment here is of equal caliber: top-floor Blu Bar is known for its mixologist-made cocktails and staggering city views, best followed up by a multi-course dinner at next-door restaurant Altitude. Also not to be missed: a rejuvenating treatment at CHI spa.
In the Area
Stays at Shangri-La put you in arm’s reach of some of the city’s best sights: Circular Quay, home to the iconic Opera House, is just a few minutes’ walk away. For a real splurge (but an unforgettable experience), join a BridgeClimb tour, which lets you scale Sydney’s storied Harbour Bridge for a unique perspective of the city. From Circular Quay, you can take a breezy ferry ride just across the harbor to Taronga Zoo, whose many enclosures housing native Australian wildlife (koalas; kangaroos; emus) are set against the Sydney skyline. Ferries also depart Circular Quay for Manly, a charming beach town that rivals Bondi with a killer stretch of sand and its fair share of waterfront restaurants and ice cream shops. Before departing, hit up Hugos for some quality pizza and sunset cocktails, then continue the party back in town at Hacienda Sydney, which pairs Caribbean-inspired drinks (Mai Tais; banana pisco sours) with open-air views of the Quay.
How to Get There
Excellent service Top menu. Wanted a special night to celery a new book and chose a very special place. We had overseas visitor and wanted to show them. Some of the best hotels and restaurants in Sydney. They were impressed. So were we
The staff in the hotel were excellent and very polite.
The infrastructure of the hotel, however, is very run down.
The lifts (allegedly in process of being renovated) break down regularly meaning that often all floors are being served by one/two lifts. This can mean at 5 minute plus wait for the lift only for a full one arrive.
My bedroom (2217) had a maintenance room opposite that emitted noises similar to a lawnmower intermittently from about 5am for 3 out of the 4 nights I was there. Daily complaints made little difference. Luckily I had to be up early for meetings.
The breakfast area is small and couldnt cope with the volume of traffic given there were two conferences being held during my stay.
Generally, beautiful location but needs a lot of investment.
Had a weekend getaway in our own city, room had large window with beautiful view of Harbour bridge and Opera House. Staff very welcoming, always offering assistance and allowed early check in. Indoor pool and spa were a hit with young and old. Rooms were tidy and large enough for 2 adults and 1 child. Great bathroom and shower. Fantastic location to see the Rocks and Circular Quay. Very enjoyable stay.
I stayed at the hotel to celebrate me and my partner's anniversary over the weekend. We enjoyed our level 33 Horizon Club room very much as it was very relaxing.
The location was great for us to stroll to the Rocks/ Circular Quay and walking distance to Townhall. The hotel is situated next to two train station (Wynyard and Circular Quay), although if travelling via train it's a bit of an uphill walk with luggage.
The hotel room was very clean and the view from level 33 was fabulous no matter which side you're facing. There was a choice of pillow types (including a lavender pillow) you can select and ask to be brought in the room. I was especially impressed that our room had a fresh fruit bowl and fine chocolates which made it very welcoming indeed. I have not seen this in the Hyatt/Hiltons/ Sofitel I have stayed in previously so this was a very nice touch. There was also L'Occitane toiletries as well as a pod coffee machine. Everything about the room was great.
If there's an area for improvement it might be the check-in time. we arrived around 12pm and we were drenched from the downpour of rain that weekend. All the staff noted how wet we were but we were told our room isn't ready as the usual check in time was 3pm and they will call us if a room can be available earlier. I think any other day it would have been alright but considering the circumstances of how we were soaked through (and so were our bags) it was a long wait until we can get into our room to dry ourselves off. We were told we can take a shower at level 2 if we wanted to but still it was a 3 hour wait without being offered much else to do in the interim. We opted to leave our wet bags and went out into the rain to find something to do for 3 hours and there's not a lot of shelter to go under for the 10 minute walk to nearby attractions.
Overall we still enjoyed our stay and would consider trying out other Shangri-La hotels next time.
Where to begin.
I've been staying at Shangri La hotels for years and have been a member of the Golden Circle and enjoyed the benefits.
My latest visit to Sydney, I booked a night at the Shangri La on the Rocks, where i have stayed before. At the last minute, I separately booked a second night - so had two separate bookings for consecutive days.
The hotel was busy, but I asked if I could get the same room for both nights, to save moving bags etc. Certainly, but $80 extra.. Ok, I'll just get you to transfer my bags for me? No problem.
confirm my Golden Circle membership? No, actually, it turns out that if you book via a booking site - you get no recognition these days (as of January 2019 apparently). I get the logic that they prefer you to book directly, but booking sites are a fact of life now and are sometimes cheaper with better availability than booking direct. Anyhow, I'm now querying the loyalty aspect of staying with Shangri La.
Can i get to my room? No - check-in time is 3:00pm and i arrived at 2:15pm. "The room is ready, but you will have to wait" no idea what this is about.
Finally get to my room and there is not hot water. So I phone the service centre and the promise to look into it and i ask them to phone me back.
Three phone calls and three different respondents and i finally am told that there is a leak somewhere in the hotel and they are working on it.
I ask them to phone my mobile to let me know when it is done. An hour goes by and i notice a missed call on my mobile - but no message.
Back to the hotel and the water is on, so i can finally get a shower. Disappointing day 1.
Day 2 and I'm at reception to replay the conversation about my bags getting transferred. The lady at reception seems oblivious to the concept and not very enthused about my request (simple request?). Eventually, the concierge gets involved and promises to take care of it. Receptionist seems slightly hostile at this point. Might just be me.
I finally make it back to the hotel and get my new room key, but however it works, my bags were not transferred after all. Not a huge deal, but the overall attention from the staff was really noticeably one of not caring very much.
Overall, I have come to the conclusion that I will try one of the many alternatives next time. The Golden Circle loyalty scheme is pretty meaningless now in any case.